Our History

The College of Agriculture traces its roots back to 1872 with the establishment of the Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical College as a land-grant college. Throughout its history, the college has helped advance Alabama’s agricultural economy while improving the nutrition, health and standard of living for all citizens.

Important Dates


East Alabama Male College, located in Auburn, opens its doors on October 1, 1859 with enrollment of 193 and a faculty of six.



Forced to close in 1862 because of the Civil War, the college transfers its property for the establishment of a Land-Grant college, Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical College.


h-1883Old Main, the predecessor to Samford Hall, as it appeared to Alabama A&M students in 1883



h-1893Charles A. Cary
brought physiology and veterinary medicine to the agricultural curriculum.


h-1910Comer Hall was named for Governor¬†B.B. Comer after it¬†was completed in 1910. It was described as a “handsome and commodious building.”¬†



h-1912Frances Camp Duggar was identified in the 1912 Glomerata as Auburn’s “first agricultural coed.”


h-1916Chemistry and Pharmacy were part of the College of Agricultural Sciences. Many agriculture courses were taught in the newly formed Department of Agronomy.



h-1918A 1918 entomology class posed aboard an open truck before leaving Ag Hill for a field trip to Opelika.


h-1921Bennett B. Ross, the first Dean of Agricultural Sciences, served from 1908 to 1921



h-1933H.S. Swingle and E.V. Smith were project leaders for the first farm pond study conducted in the 1930s.


h-1937Lack of funds made teaching difficult during the depression years. These students borrowed microscopes from Comer Hall to take to their classes.



h-1946Ninety-three war- surplus tugboat deckhouses, set up with a central bath house, provided living space for 186 male students following World War II.


h-1950Under the leader-ship of W.D. Salmon, left, the Department of Animal Husbandry was rated next to the University of Wisconsin in biochemistry.



h-1954Auburn’s Soil Testing¬†Laboratory went into¬†operation in a basement room of Extension Hall.


h-1972R. Dennis Rouse, who served as Dean from 1972 to 1980, established the Ag Alumni Association, added many agricultural facilities and programs, and helped to write the 1977 U.S. Farm Bill.



h-1983A marker on the huge rock known as “Buck’s Boulder” recognized the centennial year of the establishment of the Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station.


h-1984Fisheries Department Head Wayne Shell, left, and AU President James Martin were at the United Nations press conference to announce the establishment of an international fisheries information network at Auburn.



h-1988The “Old Rotation” experiment,¬†established on the Agronomy Farm by J.F. Duggar in 1896, was added to the National Register of Historic Places.


h-1990Auburn-developed¬†McLean Deluxe¬†hamburger gets¬†a taste test at the¬†Auburn McDonald’s.